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WINS Celebrates Third Anniversary of INFCIRC 901

22nd November 2019
WINS Celebrates Third Anniversary of INFCIRC 901

WINS is co-hosting, with the Permanent Mission of Canada, a luncheon to mark the third anniversary of the publication of IAEA Information Circular 901 (INFCIRC 901) on Friday, 6 December 2019 at the Vienna Centre for Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. The event will be co-chaired by HE Heidi Hulan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada, with WINS Executive Director Dr Roger Howsley. The theme of the event is the role of demonstrable competence in nuclear security and the link to promotion of greater gender parity in the sector.

As WINS is committed to increasing the participation of women in nuclear security, WINS sees opportunities to enhance gender parity while also improving demonstrable competence in the sector.

In the WINS Gender and Nuclear Security Survey, 31% of respondents felt that the main obstacle for women to entering the nuclear security profession was a lack of access to career opportunities. A related issue, the characterisation of competence, was discussed at the Round Table on Gender and Nuclear Security that WINS organised in May 2019. Concrete credentials such as certification as a nuclear security professional can measure skills without negatively impacting female applicants who may have fewer years of experience due to a leave of absence for maternity and childrearing activities.

The Joint Statement on Certified Training for Nuclear Security Management, published by the IAEA as INFCIRC 901 on 6 December 2016, outlines commitments to support the WINS Academy in its efforts to expand its international certification programme through advocacy, peer review support and contributions.

“We welcome other States, supported by industry and civil society, to provide a tangible commitment in support of the WINS Academy and certified professional development for nuclear security. Together we can help to ensure that nuclear and other radioactive materials remain secure under the management of demonstrably competent professionals,” IAEA Information Circular 901 reads.

Another issue roundtable experts brought up is that women may have less access to training and professional development opportunities, which can impact their ability to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. WINS is dedicating scholarships for women to increase their active participation in the WINS Academy Programme. This will lead to an increased number of women who are achieving certification and recognition as Certified Nuclear Security Professionals. WINS recently certified the 100th woman as a Certified Nuclear Security Professional.

INFCIRC 901 follows up on Information Circular 869 of 2014, which included among its 14 optional proposed actions supporting or participating “in the development of World Institute for Nuclear Security best practice guides and training activities.” The INFCIRC 901 document was submitted by the Government of Canada and has been endorsed by Finland, Hungary, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Thailand, the UK, and the USA. Canada and WINS welcome more countries to subscribe to INFCIRC 901 and make concrete commitments to both demonstrable competence and gender parity in the field of nuclear security.

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